Dave Mooney: Hutchinson’s Baseball Renaissance Man

Posted on June 23, 2015

Article courtesy of Dick Klitzke

The Hutch Huskies dedicate the 2015 season to the late Dave Mooney.  Dave passed away suddenly in the spring of 2014.  His impact on baseball in this community for over five decades has left a lasting impression that everyone in Hutch can be proud of and are forever indebted.  Dave unarguably knew and gave more to Hutchinson baseball than any one before him. 

Dave’s contributions to the game included pioneering the Hutchinson Park and Recreation summer youth league baseball program starting back In the early 60’s.  As a teacher and a coach of the game, Dave was the definition of an eternal optimist.

Wearing his pressed beige khaki pants, a pair of Riddell coaching shoes and sporting a solid black ball cap, Dave along with a few high school players at his side, would hand out bats, balls and catchers equipment to each of the teams and point them to which field their game was on.  Always being positive, Dave would spend time at each field coaching every kid from T- baller’s to Midgets regardless of their ability.  Teaching them the basic fundamentals of baseball with a huge emphasis on the word “fun” and “sportsmanship”.   Wins and losses meant nothing to Dave.  It was all about playing the game correctly.  Back in those days it was 50+ boys (and as many bicycles), a rundown shanty-like equipment/concession stand as a meeting place, a couple skinned diamonds, a few high schools teenagers, and Mr. Mooney.

As a young man, Dave was a very good college player and then went on and played town ball for a number of different communities.  He was also an excellent umpire, high school coach, Post 96 American Legion coach, Husky board  member and field maintenance caretaker extraordinaire at VMF and high school diamonds.  If a field needed dragging, lined or mowed, go talk to “Moon’s”. Dave will make sure it’s done right.  Dave’s specialty was pitcher’s mound and home plate preparation which he took great pride in. 

Dave also played a large part in spearheading the effort of reviving town-team baseball in Hutch in 1985; hence the Hutch Huskies and VMF as we know it.

When the cheering stopped, the parking lot empty and the last crack of the bat in a game or tournament long over for another weekend, and with dusk setting in, there was Dave, still down at the ballpark.  His home away from home making sure the field was ready for the next game. Always a rake in hand or heading to some part of the field on his blue Toro Groundmaster or John Deere gator. 

Just look for his tan Ford Ranger parked behind the field maintenance garage and chances are Dave won’t be too far away. And if Dave wasn’t at VMF, there was a good chance you’d find him fishing along the banks of the Crow River just beyond the right field fence.

The Hutch Huskies thank Dave Mooney and his family for being a part Hutchinson baseball for over 50 years.  As an inductee into the 1989 Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame for a lifelong commitment and dedication to community baseball, we salute you!  You no doubt set the bar quite high for all of us to achieve.

Thanks again Dave for making Hutch baseball what it is today.  You were truly one of a kind! 

Dave Mooney dedication program:

Wednesday, July 1 at the Dave Mooney Baseball Complex, Hutchinson 

•6:13 pm  – Welcome: Bruce Rosenow – President of Huskies

•6:18 pm – Field Proclamation – Dolf Moon

•6:23 pm – Tim Mooney (Dave’s Brother) –  thoughts

•6:28 pm – Player Appreciation – Kyle Messner

•6:33 pm –  Dave Mooney Top Ten – John Arlt

•6:38 pm – Final Thoughts – Mike Marquardt

•6:43 pm –  Unveiling of Dave’s Baseball-Sing “Take me out to the ball game”

•6:48 pm –  Pat/Jan/Mary closing comments

•6:53 pm  – To the field for introduction of the following:  –  Bruce Rosenow

–    1960’s American Legion Players  

–    1970’s American Legion Players

–    1980’s American Legion players

–    1990’s American Legion Players

–    2000’s American Legion Players

–    2010 + American Legion Players

–    Recognition of previous state tournament teams:    1970, 1975, 1985, 2014

–    Recognition for last years State tournament team and presentation of the 2014 Sportsmanship trophy

–    Introduction of players for tonight’s game – game  announcer

–    presentation of the colors

–    American Legion code of conduct

–    National anthem – PJ Mooney will play on keyboard

–    first pitch –  Pat Mooney to Hutch Legion Catcher

•7:03 pm – Play Ball!

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